Janssen Korea said the Ministry of Health and Welfare will start reimbursing Tremfya, its treatment for psoriatic arthritis, starting this month.
According to the current standard, health authorities will reimburse patients with active and active cases where the response to one or more inhibitors of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α inhibitor) or interleukin-17 (inhibitor of IL-17) was insufficient or in cases where patients had to discontinue treatment due to side effects or poor efficacy.
The ministry based its approval on two Phase 3 clinical trials, DISCOVER-1 and DISCOVER-2, which demonstrated improvement in psoriatic arthritis symptoms, including joint and skin symptoms, in patients with active psoriatic arthritis. who have not received biological treatment or who have previously received treatment with TNF-α inhibitors.
The DISCOVER-1 study showed that 52% of patients treated with Tremfya 100 mg at weeks 0 and 4, then every eight weeks, achieved an ACR20 (American College of Rheumatology 20) response at 24 weeks, and 50 and 26 % of patients with psoriasis. area and severity index (PASI) 90 and PASI 100 versus placebo.
Additionally, in the group receiving Tremfya every eight weeks, remission rates for appendicitis and pharyngitis were 40 and 65 percent.
Based on long-term data from the DISCOVER-2 study which further analyzed results over two years (112 weeks), the company confirmed that results at 24 weeks and 1 year were related to improvement effect and safety of Tremfya in symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, including joint and skin symptoms, have been observed continuously for approximately two years.
“The company is pleased to provide more treatment options for psoriatic arthritis patients with limited treatment options by winning Tremfya’s health insurance benefits,” said Cherry Huang, CEO of Janssen Korea. “Janssen will do its best to provide innovative solutions to help patients with autoimmune diseases, including psoriasis, get their lives back.”
Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic, progressive immune disease with joint inflammation, appendicitis, pharyngitis, and pain in the hands and feet, commonly seen in people in their 30s and 50s. To date, there is no cure for psoriatic arthritis, and despite the treatment options available, many people experience symptoms that affect their ability to carry out daily activities.
According to Janssen, about 9% of psoriasis patients in Korea develop psoriatic arthritis.
Tremfya is the first interleukin-23 (IL-23) inhibitor approved by Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety to treat active psoriatic arthritis in adults with inappropriate or intolerant responses to DMARDs (modifying antirheumatic drugs). of the disease), and it is the only IL-23 inhibitor covered by insurance.
The drug selectively blocks and inhibits the release of inflammatory cytokines by blocking IL-23, which is involved in the inflammatory and immune responses associated with symptoms of psoriatic arthritis.